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Old 05-12-2004, 02:11 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh/Baltimore
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
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Exclamation My computer won't boot, and i think its a bad MBR...

I've been dual booting XP professional and Mandrake 9.2 for a while. My friend's external hard drive failed, so, in order to recover the data onto my hard drive, I had to erase my linux partitions (not enough space) . To do this, I used Partition Magic 8.0. After recovering the data to my computer and restoring it to its original drive, I restarted my computer. Lo and behold, right after the BIOS finishes the tests and stuff, instead of going to the LiLo screen, I'm greeted with a black screen with an L in the corner followed by columns with the number '99' in them.

A brief overview of my computer. I'm using a Asus P4C800 Deluxe with a Seagate 120GB SATA HD, and a Hitachi 160GB SATA HD.
The hard drive situation is messy - I was originally using the Seagate (let's call it C: drive) until it started having major issues, and the drive eventually went kaput. After many attempts to restore it, I bought the Hitachi (lets call it D: ) and installed windows on it, leaving a sizable partition for a linux distro. In windows, it called D: my primary drive, and C: was just a plain ol' NTFS drive. I was able to view C: and deleted the windows files off it, but there were some folders I was unable to remove. So, i was running C: as a storage drive and D: as my primary disk. I then installed Mandrake on the empty partition (lets call this H: ) and all was good...

Until I formatted the linux (ext3) partition.

I think this a MBR problem. (ie the MBR got formatted over) I want to try booting into the recovery console and doing a 'fixmbr' and 'fixboot', but am unsure as to which I should run first. Also, will this render my hard drives inacessible? And what does each specifically do?

If it matters, I also have Symantec ghost installed.

wow, long post...

Old 05-12-2004, 08:42 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: VA
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'fixmbr' installs the Windows mbr. Run it.
What happened was that the lilo Linux bootloader was on the mbr. It just loads it's second part that's in the linux partition. You deleted the partition, along with the second part, so it nothing to load and just showed a bunch of 99's.
Old 05-12-2004, 01:09 PM   #3
Registered: May 2004
Location: Montreal,QC,Canada
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fdisk /MBR
does the same thing :-)
Old 05-12-2004, 01:46 PM   #4
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fdisk /cmbr
this will alow you to fix the mbr of a disk other the the primary master.
I think it's in the DOS format, ( C:\ D:\ E:\ )... its been a while since I've had to use this.
good luck tho
Old 05-14-2004, 04:50 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I ended up booting into recovery console and using 'fixmbr', hitting 'y' for the warning (apparantly this is a bug *gasp* in windows) and with very little fanfare it restored my MBR.

I think the fdisk /cmbr commands are for previous versions of windows, but, with this being the first time I had to worry about my MBR, I am not really certain.
Thanks for your input!


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